By this point in the year, my kitchen is usually overflowing with pounds of green tomatoes, which I accept with open arms and then valiantly attempt to find uses for. Though not as triumphant as the first gloriously red tomato of the season, I honestly do look forward to the first few pounds of green tomatoes. First up is usually a round of fried green tomato BLTs, followed by an Indian curry. I've even had good luck with pickled green tomatoes. But that's really about it.
Now I have at least one more great option for this under-loved vegetable. This recipe from Gourmet simmers them with some Black Forest ham and a whole bunch of scallions. The soup is chunky, relatively light, and a great showcase for the green tomato's bracing acidity. The secret weapon is the sour cream, which really pulls everything together, and helps add some much needed body.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces Black Forest ham, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds green unripe tomatoes, stems discarded, roughly chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Sour cream to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped ham. Stir often, and cook until it is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the scallions, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the scallions are very tender, about 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stock, water, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Partially cover and cook until tomatoes are completely tender and, about 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.